Jeff Wigman: Excelsior


Paintings by Jeff Wigman


Artist’s Gallery Reception:
Saturday, November 18, 2023
4:00 – 6:00 PM

A Conversation with the Artist:

Sunday Arts
Sunday, November 19, 2023
Gallery open 1:00 – 4:00PM
Gallery visit and maker space for all ages

Image: Passing Storm, 2022
oil on linen, 9 x 12 in.

Artist’s Statement

Painting is where internal and external experience mix. It’s a way to process and relate to the world, like conversing with a person or chewing food. My first response to an idea or event is to interpret it, to make it something I can see. A phrase like “drunken centaur,” doesn’t go far on its own, but by turning it over this way and that, finding forms for invisible notions, and inviting in accident and precedent, painting becomes a space of illumination. It’s a way to get past words. In the open space of the page, metaphors popup like sudden jokes, fully formed and emblematic. Imagination here isn’t about escape or fancy; it’s a matter of engaging the mind’s eye as the primary interpretive tool.

I use oil paints, often making my own. It’s mesmerizing stuff that takes on endless qualities. It mixes so easily with the eye, ready to become something, making suggestions as if it has its own desires. Looking closely into it shows something of the mystery of substance and representation altogether, of how the material world conspires with perception, mind, and knowledge to make up our experience. I pay attention to the vitality of the paint layers and the movement of the surface. There are moments like “ah, I’ve seen that in so and so”—passages of paint that share in a lineage.

I paint with a range of historical approaches not to mimic a look, but as a practice. There’s wisdom in method and material. There’s richness. Technical investigation sheds light on and expands the creative process beyond notions of a verisimilitude or style. Painting is an outlook. Rather than just dressing up the ancients in modern clothes, I see these processes as incisive analytical tools, like finding an old hand-ground lens that still magnifies whatever it’s placed in front of.



Jeff Wigman has shown regularly since moving his studio upstate in 2006. His work has been exhibited in venues such as The Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, NY; Opalka Gallery, Albany, NY; The Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, NY; Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati,OH; Bowery Gallery, Manhattan; Good Naked Gallery, Brooklyn; and Kunstverein Eisenstadt, Austria. Jeff earned a BFA in painting and sculpture from Parsons School of Design in 1992. He grew up in southern Ohio and lives and works in Troy, New York.

This exhibition is funded in part by the Town of Lake George, the Village of Lake George, The New York State Council on the Arts, the Glenn & Carol Pearsall Foundation, the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust, Anonymous, and Lake George Arts Project Members. Please Join us today!

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